Hit By a Drunk Driver: Can I Sue?

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When it comes to dangerous drivers, drunk drivers tend to be the worst. The fact is that this brand of impairment increases the chances that the driver will engage in other forms of dangerous driving, such as speeding excessively, drowsy driving, driving under the influence of distraction, and beyond.

If you are hit by a drunk driver, filing a car accident claim is advisable, and while your claim will likely settle out of court, you’ll need to be prepared to sue. A skilled Beverly Hills car accident attorney can help you file a lawsuit against a drunk driver. Contact One Law Group to learn more.

Hit By a Drunk Driver

It comes as no surprise that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a terrible idea. The statistics, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), make this even more apparent.

Consider the following:

  • Drunk drivers cause a death every 45 minutes in the United States.
  • Each day, about 32 people lose their lives to drunk drivers.
  • In 2020 alone, more than 11,650 people were killed in accidents involving drunk drivers.
  • 2020 saw a 14 percent increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths over 2019.

The most salient point made by NHTSA is that every one of these deaths could have been prevented.

Can You Sue a Drunk Driver?

If a drunk driver harms you or someone you love, it is your right to hold them legally accountable, which generally means filing a car accident claim with their car insurance provider.

Most such claims are settled out of court, but if the insurance company handling your claim refuses to address the full scope of losses you experience, your car accident attorney will likely encourage you to file a lawsuit against them.

However, the act of filing suit may inspire the insurance company handling your claim to afford it with more careful consideration. And if not, your practiced car accident attorney will be well prepared to take your case to court.

Accidents From Drivers Above the Legal Limit

In California, as in most other states, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent. According to responsibility.org, there are several instances in which California exceeds the national average regarding drunk driving.

Consider the following:

  • California accounted for more than 9 percent of the national total for alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.
  • California accounted for more than 9 percent of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the under-21 category.
  • In the decade from 2010 to 2010, California’s rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population increased by 15.8 while the national average decreased by 5.7.
  • In the decade from 2010 to 2010, California’s rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population for those under 21 increased by 28.3 while the national average decreased by 14.5.
  • While the national average for the percent of fatal accidents involving repeat offenders is 25.1, California’s is 28.4.

While drunk drivers can face criminal charges for this brand of dangerous driving, car accident claims are civil matters in which claimants seek compensation for their physical, financial, and emotional losses.

The fact that the driver who caused you to be injured is facing criminal charges will have no bearing on your car accident claim – other than supporting your assertion that they are responsible for the losses you experienced.

Compensation for Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

If you have been harmed by a drunk driver, the losses you experience are likely to be considerable.

Your property damage

To begin, your vehicle will almost certainly be damaged. The damage to your vehicle and any damage to its contents is your property damage.

Your medical costs

The impact of a car accident can leave you facing considerable injuries and the medical expenses accompanying them. Serious injuries can require ongoing costs related to complications and any secondary medical issues.

Prior to accepting a settlement offer, it’s critical that you recognize the extent of your healthcare concerns and any future costs you’re likely to face.

Your lost earnings

Another facet of your losses is the lost wages you will experience during your recovery. This category of loss can be that much more considerable if your earning capacity is affected. The same is true if your career trajectory is affected, which can also have an emotional component.

Your pain and suffering

While the physical pain and emotional suffering you experience are more difficult to quantify, they can play a primary role in your recovery process. The implications of these emotional losses can be immense.

A critical aspect of your recovery is ensuring that each category of loss you experience as a result of the drunk driver’s negligence is well-represented in your car accident claim, a task that your dedicated car accident attorney can address very capably.

Injured by a Drunk Driver? Contact a California Car Accident Attorney Today

The damage a drunk driver causes can be a challenge to assess accurately, but the skilled attorneys at One Law Group in Beverly Hills have a wealth of experience ensuring that their clients obtain the compensation to which they are entitled – in pursuit of their most complete recoveries.

Learn more by sending us a message online or calling us at 310-923-9420 today.

Drunk Driving Accident FAQs

What should I do if I think the other driver is impaired?

If you believe the driver who caused you to be injured is impaired by alcohol or drugs, you should share your concern with the officer at the scene.

Will my pain and suffering be considered?

Yes, you can pursue compensation for your physical and emotional pain and suffering in your car accident claim.

Do I have to hire a car accident attorney?

To reach your fullest recovery, you’ll need compensation for your complete losses. The best way to accomplish this task is with a trusted car accident attorney in your corner. If you’re concerned about the expense, you should know that most reputable car accident attorneys don’t get paid until their clients reach settlements or receive court awards.

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